Newsletter #634

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Welcome to the Premiership and hello reality! Let us hope that Saturday’s scoreline tempers some of the more fanciful suggestions of how we would fare this season. My spy at The Valley says it took Richard Edghill just five minutes to come under verbal fire from travelling Blues. Haven’t we been here before?

Thanks to Phil Hartley who provides a match report after, like the late Alec Guinness in the Bridge Over the River Kwai, enduring torture in the sun. Naturally there is plenty of comment on the miserable capital capitulation. We have also have an interesting-sounding appeal from a Middlesbrough fan, the latest squad line-up (it changes every issue at the moment), and more on Neil Young.

On the subject of 4-0 drubbings, do you remember the last time we opened a Maine Road campaign against Sunderland?

Once again, thank you to all the contributors. Now that you’ve had a chance to see your blue-and-white heroes in there with the big boys you may fancy doing a Why Blue. If you lack for inspiration check out those already submitted, at http://www.uit.no/mancity/blues/

Next game: Wednesday August 23, Sunderland home.

MATCH REPORT

CHARLTON ATHLETIC VS. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 19th August 2000

There were lots of positives to come from this game: we hit the post, we should have had a penalty, Weaver got away without being sent off, we lost the first game last season, erm… the weather was nice, er…

The reality is that we were shocking on Saturday. Both teams looked nervous during the first few minutes (although Weaver had to save smartly from a Jensen free kick within the first minute), but Charlton got their game together and when they scored in the 10th minute, their confidence visibly lifted and they played some sweet stuff for the rest of the afternoon.

City lined up broadly as was expected: Weaver, Edghill, Howey, Prior, Tiatto, Haaland, Wiekens, Horlock, Kennedy, Weah and Wanchope. The bench included Wright, Wright-Phillips, Jobson, Whitley and Dickov.

Just before Andy Hunt scored the opening goal, young striker Kevin Lisbie broke through a static defence (looked miles offside at the time, but TV pictures later proved that he wasn’t) and hit the bar with a rasping shot. Hunt’s goal was a joke from our viewpoint. Andy Hunt, not the speediest or most mobile of strikers, took the ball in from the right, committed Howey and Edghill to the floor and drilled a low shot past Weaver. Shortly after, from a Haaland long throw, Wanchope headed towards goal, but Kiely tipped the ball onto the post and it was eventually cleared. Just as we thought we’d got away with a 1 goal deficit at half time, Robinson scored after Weaver had saved with his foot from the lively Lisbie. Robinson shot in the same area and contrary to some reports his shot wasn’t deflected, Nicky tried to stop it with his foot again, which seemed like a strange decision.

Shaun Wright-Phillips started the second half on the right with Haaland moving inside at the expense of Horlock. Although SWP’s inclusion gave us more balance on the right, the decision to push forward left us open to swift Charlton counter attacks again and again. It took them until the 71st minute to score again, Hunt bringing out a smart save from Weaver, Lisbie hitting the post. However the ball wasn’t cleared properly and the impressive Kinsellla shot high into the net from 15 yards. 10 minutes later Kinsella raced clear and was brought down by Weaver for an obvious penalty. To be fair to Weaver, he went for the ball not the man, and the yellow card probably was the correct colour to show. Graham Stuart scored the resultant spot kick. In between all this Haaland did have an excellent shot saved by Kiely and certainly there was a Charlton hand in the way of the ball from an SWP cross.

There is no point in giving individual player ratings because no one played well, but then again no individual player was to blame either. The defensive unit still is not functioning. Players were not covering each other, the ‘offside trap’ was a mess and individual players did not seem clear of their rôle. Edghill, as usual was horrendously exposed on the right hand side in the first half. The midfield balance didn’t work and there was little creativity evident. Weah and Wanchope were virtual spectators as hoof after hoof sailed over the heads during the first half. Kennedy got little service, but when he did receive the ball he seemed unable to do anything with it and was shrugged off the ball on more than one occasion. Kennedy’s performance was all the more disappointing as he had been the success story of a mediocre pre-season. SWP’s introduction gave us some balance and we did pass the ball a little better. Predictably the only creativity came from SWP and Weah, but it was much too little, much too late. Wanchope looked like he’d just got off a plane, which of course is virtually the case, and there was no interplay between the 2 strikers. The most worrying sight for me on Saturday was seeing several players on their backs or with their hands on their knees following Charlton’s 3rd. The body language told that they had accepted defeat and this would not have happened last year. JR must take immediate action to ensure that the ‘never say die’ attitude and team spirit does not get diluted.

Charlton could have scored another 2 or 3 goals and we could not have any grounds for complaint, but despite the manner of the defeat, we should not be too downhearted. An ‘odd goal’ defeat would probably have papered over the cracks, but JR and the players will know that the team have to play much, much better and I’m sure they will be working hard as I’m writing this report on Monday morning. The defensive unit (including the midfield) need to work on their understanding, the players must remember to pass and move and try and find our chief provider, Kennedy, with controllable passes. Weah and Wanchope need also to get to know each other and probably SWP should be drafted in from the start. When he’s fit, Bishop also needs to be included, at least on the bench.

This was our heaviest defeat since the 6-0 reverse at Liverpool in 1995 and let’s hope it remains our heaviest defeat for the rest of the season. We know that our players are better than they showed on Saturday. We know that Kennedy, Weah and SWP can open up defences given the right service. We also know simply that we can and must do better. I fully expect us to start ‘properly’ on Wednesday evening.

Phil Hartley (philh@firstcap.freeserve.co.uk)

NEWS SUMMARY

Charlton Batter Sorry City

Manchester City returned to the Premiership on Saturday after a four-year absence. But the Blues failed to produce a display to match the auspicious occasion and were beaten 4-0 by fellow top flight new boys Charlton. City made a bad start as Andy Hunt put Charlton in front on ten minutes, and there was more misery for Joe Royle’s side three minutes before the break as John Robinson doubled the Addicks’ advantage. Mark Kinsella and a Graeme Stuart penalty completed the scoring for the home side in the second period as City crashed to their worst result on the opening day of a season for 38 years. On that occasion, the Blues were crushed 8-1 at Wolves – and Joe Royle will be hoping there’s no omen, since the 1962-63 season saw the club relegated from the old First Division.

Royle – Addicks Could Have Scored More

Manchester City suffered a heavy reverse at Charlton on Saturday. But Joe Royle admitted that the scoreline at The Valley could have been even more embarrassing for his team. Royle was struck by the lack of cohesion in the Blues’ display. And the City boss felt that the presence of all four summer signings may have contributed to his side’s disjointed effort. However, he feels that his players are unlikely to repeat such an abject performance. “We were very poor this afternoon,” he admitted. “To be honest [Charlton] could have had even more goals in the second half. However, we have to look what we can take out of this positively and that is that we can’t play a lot worse than that.” In addition to the 2,000 City fans present in London, a further 5,000 shared in the misery by watching the game on a large screen at Maine Road.

Ritchie Completes Main Road Move

Paul Ritchie asked for the weekend to think over his proposed move to Manchester City. And after weighing up his options, the Rangers defender completed the switch to Maine Road on Monday – when he also celebrated his 25th birthday. Ritchie joined the Ibrox outfit on a Bosman free transfer from Hearts in the summer. But the Scotland international has seen his dream transfer turn sour, with boss Dick Advocaat preferring an all-foreign pairing of Lorenzo Amoruso and Bert Konterman. The player is believed to feel that reserve-team football will harm his chances of remaining in the plans of national coach Craig Brown and sees a move to City as the ideal remedy for this state of affairs. He trained with the Blues on Monday and will be in contention for a place against Sunderland on Wednesday after the team’s defensive frailties were exposed at Charlton.

Schoenmakers Still in Joe’s Thoughts?

City’s signing of Paul Ritchie from Rangers would have made many observers assume that a move for yet another defender would be unlikely. But a weekend newspaper report claims that Den Bosch stopper Melchior Schoenmakers will still be given another Maine Road trial. The Dutchman came to Manchester last week to train with the Blues – only to return home after picking up a groin strain on his first morning with the squad. But despite the signing of Ritchie, it’s claimed that City will honour their promise to give Schoenmakers another opportunity to prove himself. The Blues have also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain defender Godwin Okpara, while it’s thought that Joe Royle could be close to agreeing a £200,000 fee with Bournemouth in a deal which would see Nick Fenton make way for any further reinforcements.

Ulises Lined Up for Right-Wing Rôle?

Ecuadorian Ulises de la Cruz has arrived in England to begin his ten-day trial with Manchester City. And the Manchester Evening News claims the 26-year-old is being lined up to fill the Blues’ problem rôle on the right side of midfield. De la Cruz has been billed as a defender, but has turned down a move to Italian side Lecce because he feels his talents are better used further forward. And even though some reports say he’s left-sided, it’s believed that City feel he could do a job on the right, where he has also featured for his club Liga Deportiva Univesitarie, the champions of Ecuador for the last two years.

Reserves Notch Another Win

City reserves won 3-2 at Hyde in a testimonial last Thursday to continue their pre-season run of victories. The result followed on from another win 72 hours earlier, when Manchester non-league outfit Maine Road were beaten easily. The Blues thrashed the Chorlton-based club 7-2, with a hat-trick from emerging striker Leon Mike doing the most damage. Terry Cooke was also among the scorers but the most notable aspect of the evening was the return to action of Andy Morrison. The big defender played 45 minutes, his first pre-season action, in his bid to recover from the knee injury which has kept him out of first-team contention since last October. City reserves are due to play their opening FA Premier Reserve League game against Everton at Widnes on Monday evening.

Goater Making Good Progress

Shaun Goater’s 23 league goals were crucial to Manchester City as the Blues clinched their return to the Premiership last season. And after suffering the disappointment of picking up a knee injury in pre-season, the Bermudian is making good progress as he bids for a swift return. Goater underwent a cartilage operation after sustaining the damage in the club’s opening pre-season game at Linfield. And all indications are that the surgery is successful, leading the ex-Bristol City man to believe he could be pushing for a first-team place in three weeks’ time. He is reportedly targeting the visit to Liverpool on September 9 for his senior return.

Bernstein Refusing to Panic

Manchester City made the worst possible start to their Premiership season on Saturday. But despite the Blues’ 4-0 reverse at Charlton, David Bernstein says he’s confident the team will enjoy a good season. Bernstein points to Sunderland last year as an example of a team prospering after a heavy opening-day defeat. And he also notes that City themselves won promotion last term despite a tally of one point and no goals from the first two league matches. “We must be able to accept the occasional setback and we had one at Charlton,” reflected the Blues’ chairman. “Our fans should not be discouraged, however. Our new signings obviously needed time to settle and I am sure they will do so.”

Weah Refuses £1 Million Pay-Off

George Weah has revealed that he was offered a £1 million golden handshake when leaving Milan this summer. But the former World Player of the Year turned down the cash – because he felt he didn’t deserve it. The Liberian striker was handed a free transfer by the Italian giants after falling out of favour at the San Siro. But President Silvio Berlusconi wanted to make the £1 million payment in recognition of Weah’s sterling service with the club. “Milan gave me a free transfer and [Berlusconi] also wanted to give me money,” explained the 33-year-old. “I said I didn’t want it because I didn’t work for it.”

Haaland Gives Fans Their Money Back

Alfie Haaland came face-to-face with some disappointed City supporters on Saturday evening after the Blues’ defeat at Charlton. And the Norwegian felt so strongly that the team’s Valley horror show had let down the club’s fans that he offered the group £20 towards their petrol costs. Haaland was travelling back to his Yorkshire home and therefore didn’t take the team coach to Manchester with the rest of the squad. And when he met six fans at an M1 service station, he was keen to make amends for the poor performance. “Alfie is a top bloke,” said Dave Garside of Denton, one of the supporters addressed by the ex-Leeds star. “He was one of the few who came over to applaud us after the game. He told us he wished he could pay for the whole day and that he was embarrassed by the team’s performance.”

Sunderland Next As City Seek Pick-Me-Up

Saturday’s defeat at Charlton means that the pressure will be on City as Premiership football returns to Maine Road on Wednesday. The Blues take on Sunderland knowing that a defeat will leave the team struggling at the foot of the Premiership with the season in its infancy. The match, of course, means a return to Manchester for ex-City manager Peter Reid, now in charge at the Stadium of Light, while the Sunderland attack will be led by Niall Quinn, who scored the winner against Arsenal on Saturday. Main priority for the Blues, however, will be to produce a better display than at The Valley – otherwise the home fans in another full house will again have little to cheer.

Peter Brophy (peterbrophy@mancity.net)

NO NEED TO PANIC!

Our first game of the new season and we go down 4-0. But Joe Royle and the club already know we have to beef up our defence, that’s why they are looking at some defenders right now. We learn from mistakes, and to learn early is better, so let’s think positive from our defeat, we shall get better and improve. I have confidence in Joe Royle to make things happen from this defeat. Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow CTID (BarrowLoyalBlue@aol.com)

HISTORY REPEATING… BUT WHICH HISTORY?

If you’re superstitious, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news. I’ve looked through the record books for the worst ever opening day results for City, and confirmed that Saturday’s 0-4 was very definitely one of the all-time worst.

The good news?

The 2nd worst ever opening day result for City was 0-5 against Preston on August 21st 1954. But City then went on to beat United 3-2 and 5-0, and finished the season in 7th position.

The bad news?

The worst ever opening day result was 1-8 against Wolves on August 18th 1962 (and even the City goal on that day was an own goal!). At the end of the season City were relegated.

Me? I’m not superstitious, touch wood.

Steve Maclean (stm1@stm1.freeserve.co.uk)

WHY WE ARE CITY TILL WE DIE!

I’m sure there is a full post-mortem of the Charlton match elsewhere but having blagged a last minute ticket on the train from Charing Cross (thanks John and Sue Taylor) and having seen Noel sneaking out at half time with his minder (part timer!) I still went home with a smile on my face.

City fans still never cease to amaze or amuse me. When the referee’s fourth assistant had shown that there was only 2 minutes of extra time to be played at the end, a big bloke stood up behind me and screamed towards the pitch ‘C’moooon City! 5 quick goals and we could sneak this one!’

Priceless!

That is what being a City fan is all about – and if we can laugh about losing 4-0 away to Charlton like that – then good luck to us all!

CTID, Craig (craig@mpg.nl)

EDGHILL PROVES HE IS NOT PREMIERSHIP CLASS!

With reluctance, I am coming out with this scathing attack after one game. During the summer, I have read about reservations with regards his position. Now I am certain that they were true! Most of Charlton’s goals started from our right. For the first, he was behind the two centre halves and then tries to play offside! Then was out of position to close down Hunt. For the second they broke down our right and he was too slow to close them down. For the third, they broke through the middle on our right hand side. He was not close enough to the central defenders. The fourth was from our right to left; again, a good right back would have done better.

He is not a Premiership right back and he is certainly no captain!

I do not want to be crucifying him after one game but this is really confirmation of our concerns from last season.

Also Howey and Prior, too early to say but one of those needs to lead the other. It seems that Howey likes to play offside; do the others know that? Edghill does not (if you watched MotD, you would have seen the analysis).

The arrival of Ritchie is a positive but where is the leader on the pitch? He might be slow but we need a Morrison figure to put the fear of God into the players on the pitch, something that in the 11 on the pitch on Saturday did not seem apparent.

In addition, I got half time commentary from the web but what happens to the match commentary? Fingers crossed.

P.S. Where is the ICQ chat on the net? Gooch 6394666

Graham Lord, Limassol, Cyprus (gooch@logos.cy.net)

FALSE START

I’m deliberately writing this just after the end of the Charlton game, before I’ve had a chance to calm down and be overwhelmed by more rational thought. I’m clinging to the hope that other postings in the MCIVTA will help to restore some optimism.

Four bloody nil.

At lunchtime on Saturday it was nice to watch Football Focus and see lots of great goals being scored by Premier League players – and none of them against City. And I thought – how long will that last, how long will it be before the highlights and reruns start featuring the City net bulging, defenders hopelessly floundering? Well now we know the answer – just watch Football Focus next week.

What a shambles. From the sound of the radio reports, we were lucky to get nil. It wasn’t even a case of end to end play with lots of good City chances – Lamb Chop hitting a post seemed to be the sole City highlight. We didn’t even get a bloody consolation goal. And it’s not even the real Premier League yet, as Charlton like City are only just promoted.

No, the real Premier League starts on Wednesday when we play Sunderland – that’s Sunderland who have just beaten Arsenal with a thoroughly professional performance, while we were tamely collapsing to the relegation favourites. Easy 3 points? No I don’t think so either. After Sunderland and Coventry the next games get progressively harder till Bradford on October 14th.

4 bloody nil. So we’ll be rock bottom in the league tables right from the start. Everybody will play us expecting to score a hatful of goals, expecting us to collapse as soon as the 1st goes in.

I’m bloody angry about this, and I don’t want to have to go through to May feeling like this every Saturday. I’ll feel a bit better tomorrow when I wake up, but then I’ll read about it in the papers and get depressed again. For God’s sake City, I know all the glib sayings… “It’s a marathon not a sprint” – but whatever it is, we’ve just set off running in the wrong direction.

Steve Maclean (stm1@stm1.freeserve.co.uk)

RIGHT IS NOT RIGHT

I’ve got a bad attack of the glums today to put it mildly after the débâcle that was the start of our new campaign! I didn’t go but watched the highlights on MOTD and maybe seeing edited bits of the match just made, what to me is the obvious problem, more glaring than it might otherwise have been.

In short we are team with only one side. The right hand side is totally non-existent. All of Charlton’s attacks came up the right hand side of the pitch (our right), and time and time again Edgy was caught napping or out of position. Far too often even when he was on the ball he was beaten off it again by pace. In attack all of our deliveries go via route one or the left hand side and it was as predicted that the left wing was just marked right out of the game.

If there is one lesson that needs to be learned and learned fast it is that we need to strengthen the right side of the team. Forget the central defence, forget the front line, hopefully Joe and David have taken care of those areas. Let’s see a good quality right back with pace and more game reading skills than the plank we have there now. I hate slagging any player off, especially one that has given as many years to the club as Edgy, but he struggled last year in Division One and from yesterday’s performance he is going to be a liability in the Premiership.

Here’s hoping for better things on Wednesday!

CTID, but crying in my beer, Dave Cash (Vanda_David@tesco.net)

THE SEASON SPLUTTERS TO A START AGAIN…

Of course it’s only the first match. Of course playing the ragscum in midweek wasn’t helpful. Of course there were four débutants to bed in. And of course we should give Joe Royle plenty of time before baying for his head like all good City fans do. But aren’t you worried that we crashed 4-0 to a team who came up from the First Division with us?

I hate to say this, but barring a fifteen-minute spell around the hour mark, Saturday’s display reminded me of the City teams of 1-0 Wycombe and 0-0 Oxford. The defence was a shambles; not only was it penetrable like tissue-paper, someone would often be slightly slower than the rest and play Charlton’s strikers onside. We lost the midfield battle so totally that much of our so-called offensive play consisted of hoofing the ball upfield. Two defensive midfielders is not the way forward. And Weah and Wanchope had about as much chemistry as Bruce Willis and Jennifer Aniston in Friends. Even Weaver seemed slightly rusty.

Most worryingly of all, the team still can’t pass. I don’t know if any of you have noticed this throughout the two promotion seasons, though it was seldom as glaringly obvious as against Leeds. And now, Charlton. Three passes between blue shirts seemed to be the limit, and interceptions were only as good as the ten yards the ball went backwards to another Charlton player.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not moaning already (well, ok, a little). The most encouraging thing about Saturday was that even at 2-0, 3-0 and 4-0 down the transmission was still picking up the City cheers. And it will be keeping with the City paradox to say that because rather than in spite of all the current weaknesses of the team, we should stand even more firmly behind them.

Ok, more random stuff now. Ernie, good to see you on again. Four lines in and it couldn’t be Simon or Cathal or any of the other garrulous crowd. I’m back in Singapore, looking for a job, and drinking too much. A bunch of us had a fourteen-bottle bender on Saturday, which meant that I was just in about the right state to watch the match. The Rags have opened a new Megastore here, so there’s one corner of Singapore that will always be totally evil and out-of-bounds for me. I’ve even seen it from the bus, at which point I averted my eyes and said a quick prayer. Other than that I’ve been rather enjoying wearing Le Coq Sportif out and drawing looks of sheer astonishment.

Steve, what’s wrong with Joe Woyle?

On Jordan, Etuhu and Parkhouse getting squad numbers: does anyone have the full updated list? [Read on – David]

More chicken jokes:

Joe Royle: “Its approach play was inventive and other than the road there wasn’t much between the chicken and the other side.”

Joe Royle: “I didn’t know he could cross the road. It wasn’t in his contract.”

Toh Hsien Min a.k.a. HM (hsienmin@pacific.net.sg)

PATHETIC!

I watched the City-Charlton match last Saturday in Singapore as it was shown immediately after the featured match between Arsenal and Sunderland. I had convinced all my friends to watch the match to see how much City has progressed during the past 4 years since leaving the Premiership. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have bothered. City was simply pathetic! There was no link up between the defence and attack by the midfielders. Edghill, Prior and Howey were simply hoofing the ball up aimlessly, reminiscent of the way Everton used to play under Royle.

The midfield was non-existent. Horlock kept losing the ball before he was replaced, Kennedy looked nervous on his return to the Premiership and struggled to live up to his billing, and Wiekens was so anonymous that I did not know he was playing till the middle of 1st half. I also felt that Haaland looked lost in City’s system (if there was one). I do not blame Weah and Wanchope for City’s defeat as the supply to the frontline was simply non-existent. Even Batistuta or Henry would have struggled. I am grateful to those players who have taken City to the Premiership, however, I am afraid that save for Weaver, Tiatto, Goater and Wright-Phillips, the rest do not possess sufficient Premiership quality. I would urge Royle to cast sentiments aside and buy 2 decent central defenders, a decent right-back and 2 decent midfielders. Now that so much money is involved in the Premiership, City just cannot afford to be relegated again.

Michael Chong (Mike007@cyberway.com.sg)

BORO APPEAL

My name is Nigel Gibb and I am a Middlesbrough supporter. I need some help with regard to statistical information on players who have played for or scored for Manchester City against Middlesbrough.

The two teams have met 98 times in the League. The 99th will be the Sky tv game at Maine Road soon and the 100th will be at The Riverside in February. I am hoping to do a repeat publication of something I did last season to commemorate the 100th Boro vs. Arsenal League fixture. I did an 8-page brochure covering all the stats and match reports of the games and despatched it in a special collector’s item envelope. It was well received with all feedback being thankful and supportive.

My original intention was that it would be a commercial publication by Boro FC but, annoyingly, they announced at the last moment that it would not be viable. Rather than ditch all my work on it I decided to produce it myself with all proceeds going to charity. It didn’t make a vast amount, perhaps the club were right, I only charged £1 a copy, but in the eyes of the charity they were well pleased. Subscribers were invited to add on an amount if they so wished for passing on to the charity. I also kept all financial records for just anybody to inspect to keep it all well and truly above board. The selected charity was the Motor Neurone Disease, and will be again this time. It is a charity close to the hearts of Boro fans since 1970’s hero Willie Maddren became a victim. Former City player Don Revie was another tragically struck down with it.

What I am now hoping for, please, is help from the City end, not necessarily to do any work but just to advise me as to where I can research line-ups and scorers for the City teams in the 98 encounters to date. I have, so far, failed to find any City web sites with such detailed historical information. The local library does not hold suitable books either but given a title and publisher’s name they could obtain a book from outside their area.

Any suggestions of a supportive nature would be much appreciated.

By the way I shall be at Maine Road on 17 September for my 18th visit there for a City vs. Boro game.

Thanking City fans in anticipation, Nigel Gibb, Yarm, near Middlesbrough (NIGELGIBB@aol.com)

ESSEX & SUFFOLK PREDICTIONS COMPETITION

Well the season has kicked off and so too has the Essex & Suffolk branch’s prediction competition.

Whilst there was lots of interest (over 70 MCIVTA readers requested info) there were only 25 takers at £5.00 per head, totalling £125.00. We had hoped to have 100 entries! We were going to divi up 50% as prize money but have increased the percentage so that there will be three prizes, 1st £40.00, 2nd £20.00 and 3rd £10.00 with the balance of £55.00 going to E&S branch funds.

The object of the competition is to predict the teams that will finish in the following positions:

1,2,3,18,19,20 in the Premiership.
1,2, Play off Winner, 22,23,24 in Div 1.
1,2, Play off Winner, 21,22,23,24 in Div 2.
1,2,3, Play off winner, 24 in Div 3.
Top scorer Premiership, all competitions.
Worthington Cup winner, runner up.
F A Cup winner, runner up.

For the time being, last year’s winners of Top Goalscorer, F A Cup Winner, F A Cup Runner up, Worthington Cup Winner and Runner up will remain as they were for ease of calculation only. Obviously the eventual winners will be input into the spreadsheet with the final result for competition entrants being given on the last day of the season after Division 1 play offs.

Hope you’re still with me!

If the competition were to finish now (Sunday 21st 10:30pm), then the results for entrants would be the following:

Desmond Moran 34, Micheal Hornibrook 28, Ian Reeves 26, Angie Masters 25, ??? 22 (they forgot to put their name on it), Dave Ellison 21, Paul Gallagher 19, Gary Osman 19, Colin Little 18, Will Pritchard 17, Julie Myers 16, Beverley & District CSA 16, Tony Dove 16, Marie Saffill 16, Duncan Madden-Ross 16, Graham Locker 16, Cliff Shelley 15, Sean Curley 14, Tom Robertson 13, Neil Paterson 13, Steve Marriott 11, Dominic Flint 10, Jackie Nugent 10, Christopher Patrick 8 and Perry Walsh 6.

From here on in I will provide a top ten positions only to save space and lessen the boredom factor on those not participating. Updates will be done on first edition of MCIVTA each month until the end of the season.

For further information on Essex & Suffolk branch just drop me a line at address below.

Paul Gallagher, Secretary, Essex & Suffolk CSA (paulg@mancity.net)

ESSEX AND SUFFOLK BRANCH (CS) GUEST

Colin Schindler was the first ever guest speaker at the recent Essex & Suffolk branch (CSA) August meeting.

He shared some funny stories, answered questions on his book “Manchester United ruined my life”, Spoke about his new book “High on a cliff” and signed copies of both books for members who thoroughly enjoyed the evening. He also gave a sort of sneak preview to his latest work which promises to be a “must have” book for all City fans young and old. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what it’s about but its sure to be a fascinating read.

The committee and members of Essex & Suffolk branch would like to take this opportunity to thank Colin for a most entertaining evening and hope he will come and see us again, perhaps after the launch of his latest work.

Paul Gallagher, Secretary, Essex & Suffolk CSA (paulg@mancity.net)

THE NEW IMPROVED CITY SQUAD

Changes Since last squad (mainly youth squad players):

Paul Ritchie signed from Rangers for £500,000.
Duff, Garfield, Kneen have in fact all left the club.
Stephen Parkhouse, although allocated a squad number, has left the club by mutual consent.
Lee Hughes, Gary Maguire and Rico Richards have left the club.

Tommy Wright
Nick Weaver
Steven Hodgson
Richard McKinney
Gerard Wiekens
Spencer Prior
Richard Edghill
Rhys Day
Lee Crooks
Nick Fenton
Danny Granville
Richard Jobson
Danny Tiatto
Andy Morrison
Steve Howey
Steven Jordan
Paul Ritchie
Shaun Holmes                Transfer Listed
Kevin Horlock
Mark Kennedy
Gary Mason                  Transfer Listed
Jim Whitley                 Transfer Listed
Ian Bishop
David Laycock
Terry Dunfield
Christopher Shuker
Terry Cooke                 Transfer Listed
Jeff Whitley
Tony Grant
Alf Inge Haaland
Dixon Etuhu
Paul Dickov
Shaun Goater
Danny Allsopp
Gareth Taylor               Transfer Listed
Shaun Wright-Philips
Leon Mike
Christopher Killen
George Weah
Paulo Wanchope

Last year’s U17 still at club:

Gary Furnival      (defender)
Barry Hogan        (defender)
Steven Paisley     (defender)
Tyrone Mears       (defender)
Paddy McCarthy     (defender)
Damian Joyce       (midfield)
Andrew Tunnicliffe (forward)
Gary Browne        (forward)
Lee Croft          (forward)
Brian Murphy       (goalkeeper)
Joe Barton
Kevin Whitehead    (goalkeeper) non contract
Andy Pavey

This year’s U-17’s:

James Almond
Richard Crawford
Mark Egerton
Phil Gider
Adam James
Ryan McDowell
Daniel McTaggart
Adie Orr
William Flood
Glen Whelan
Stephen Elliott
David Tickle      non contract
Ciaron Kilhenny   non contract
David Hodgson     (GK) non contract
Shaun Cartwright

Stuart Reynolds (stuart.reynolds@cash.securicor.co.uk)

SPANISH CITY

David Butler asked in MCIVTA 633 (maybe there’s the answer to the music debate – given it was the last issue before the big day, maybe the theme tune to 633 Squadron is the one) whether Paulo Wanchope would be the first native Spanish speaker to play for City. Although I can’t recall exactly when he played for the club, surely the first is the one the City fans still sing about to this day.

“Juan Neel In Y Acoupfiynal”

Dave “sorry, couldn’t resist it” Kilroy (davidkilroy@cwcom.net)

LOADED

The September issue of ‘Loaded’ magazine has a three page spread on ‘The fall & rise of Man City’. The story is by a bloke called Bill Burrows (anybody heard of him before?) and, whilst not containing anything new, (apart from Spencer Prior saying he had to chin a policeman to get off the pitch at Blackburn!) is definitely a good laugh. It also has a very funny section on City’s worst buys. Apart from anything else, it’s been the only thing to make smile since Saturday. Only our team. Only us.

P.S. I’d be interested to know if Loadeds’ sales go up after this is circulated.

Mark (106140.1100@compuserve.com)

OR IS IT PAUL WITCHIE?

We can’t buy Paul Ritchie – he hasn’t got a “W”!

Wots wong wiv Winterburn?

Steve Maclean

MANCHESTER CITY STORIES

Remember when Stretford won that European thingy in 1999? Well… the day of the official celebration in Manchester, I was walking home (I live in Ashton Under Lyne) with a couple of friends, when I passed a pub with some where some mates spotted me and shouted me over. They asked me if I fancied going into Manchester for the day, to which I accepted. Now, I didn’t really find it odd that they were all wearing Stretford shirts, and the thought of the official celebration completely escaped my mind. Not particularly interesting eh? Well… I was wearing a City shirt. It wasn’t until we started getting closer to Manchester that I realised what I was letting myself in for; the sea of red shirts… And, oh yes, the nerves began to set in; my friends all thought it was funny! Anyway, when we arrived at Piccadilly, one of my friends (Mark) decided to lend me a coat. I was safe. Or so I hoped. My friends convinced me to join them to watch the United bus, and so I joined the gleeful fans. Then Mark decided to be a b*****d: he told me he needed his coat back. To be honest, I saw the comedy of the situation, and thought it’d be quite funny. So there I was, stood, smack bang in the centre of 500,000 Man United fans, wearing a City shirt I swear this is true.. I thought I was gonna be on the news, the cameras were pointing at me, and some people even took photos of me. I can understand how hard it sounds to believe but the evidence is out there 🙂

Paul Hammond (hammond@4unet.co.uk)

NEIL YOUNG

Some years ago I bought the video Lee, Bell, & Summerbee. Very entertaining by the way. However, the reason I mention it is because the thing that stood out for me whilst watching what was a tribute to the three above was how many times Neil Young featured. As someone who started supporting City in 1968 (following the transfer of Ken Mulhearn from my home town club Stockport) my memories were always drawn to the likes of Colin etc. It is easy to think of Neil Young as a bit part player. That is until I watched this video and kept thinking it’s Neil Young again… and again… and again. Of course he deserves some recognition, even after all this time.

But then our club does not have a great record. You only have to look at the way the greatest player of all time has been treated. Colin Bell will not even walk through the gates whilst certain individuals remain at the club, because of the way he was treated. So let us not be surprised that others are overlooked.

David Kilroy (davidkilroy@cwcom.net)

ATTENDANCES – HELP

Fellow Blues – can you help me?! Has anybody out there got average attendance figures for City for (say) the last 10 years?

There’s a Villa fan where I work who is driving me absolutely round the bend.

Normally, I don’t let these people bother me, and I don’t know if he feels threatened by our recent success, but he seems determined to undermine what he considers to be the “myth” of City’s loyal support. He claims that our support has only taken off during the last 2 years, and that just because we’ve been “having a party”, it’s now (apparently) “fashionable” to support City.

Although I can remember regular attendances of 40,000+ in the 70s, I don’t have any genuine stats to back up my defence. Can anyone help?!

Thanks, Sheffield Blue (nigel_timperley@totalise.co.uk)

CITY CYBERQUIZ

Hi, my name is Andy Davies from Stockport and a City fan for 23 years. I’ve had a quiz site (http://www.triv.net/) up for a couple of months and decided to do a City quiz. It’s a Java applet based on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – 15 City questions ranging from dead easy (Who did we beat 10-1 in ’87?) gradually getting harder. The address is http://www.triv.net/mcfc.htm Can you put a link on your page for me or include it in one of your newsletters? I’m hoping to get a bit of feedback from City fans, see if they like it and whether I should do any more (there’s no point spending ages doing loads of questions if no one’s interested!). If you want to put the quiz on your own web site, no problem, just let me know and you can have the code. Also if you’ve got any good questions on City or strange trivia that can be used as a questions, let me know. I hope you like the quiz!

Andy

ASKEY VS. GRIMBLE

That Arthur Askey film “The Love Match” – I think the train was stopped alongside Bolton’s Burnden Park, not Old Trafford. The line to Bury went past the ground. My 3 great interests – football, railways, cinema!

Steve Parish (SParish@bloovee.freeserve.co.uk)

CHRIS KILLEN

You guys forgot about Chris Killen who is also on international duty and playing in the Merdeka Soccer tournament in Kuala Lumpur this week.

He scored a hat-trick against the Malaysian Under-22 side after having been totally marked out in the earlier game against the Malaysian senior side.

NZ beat Oman last night to book their place in the final against the Malaysian senior side.

NZ vs. Malaysia       0-0
NZ vs. Malaysian U-22 3-0 (or Killen 3 Malaysian U-22 0)
NZ vs. Oman           1-0

Killen didn’t play in New Zealand’s last game against Oman as he was suspended (2 yellows). He will be back for the final against Malaysia.

Andrew Sukirtharaj (andrew@nstp.com.my)

IT DOESN’T LOOK ANY BETTER FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD

I live in Ottawa, Canada and have been a MCIVTA subscriber for three years. It’s a rare occurrence but perhaps in common with other countries, we got the City-Charlton game (almost) live here on Saturday. Given that Blue fans who live away have not had this opportunity for several years, I imagine that you will be inundated with foreign correspondence, so I’ll keep this short (perhaps you’ll consider snippets from each if lots of people write in).

For once, I don’t need a match report from someone else to assess City’s performance. I assume all of your correspondents will agree on one point: City were dreadful – like a Second Division team struggling in a cup tie against a Premier League side. Charlton were allowed to play flowing football unhindered by such inconveniences as firm, decisive tackles. City players in all positions chased the ball around aimlessly, like children on a beach playing against their dads. What position was Mark Kennedy supposed to play? Wing or full back? But both? This City side not only lacks a fragment of cohesion, it also looks unhappy – and did so even before a goal was scored on Saturday. Has Joe Royle sacrificed team spirit for those high-priced mercenaries of dubious worth? It’s too early to be totally pessimistic but one stark fact emerged from Saturday’s game: City need a strong, respected marshall to rally the troops on the field – a spirited player with character enough to provide that missing cohesion. Does he exist?

Chris Cobb, Ottawa, Canada (cobsun@magma.ca)

DISTANT BLUES

Hi Fellow Blues.

A while ago now, you might recall a website I have created called “Distant Blues”? A site for Blues who are away from the shrine of Maine Road, and blighty in general.

Anyways, with the start of a new season, comes the task of compiling all the results for my website’s on-line database…

This e-mail is just to let you all know that the data for this season (so far anyway) is up there. Through out the season you will be able to compare teams and look back on the many City victories as we push for European qualification… 😉 You can also check out every league result since the 93/94 season.

I will update the database every week, so check back often.

You will find it at http://www.geocities.com/froddy.geo and go to the CITY STATS option.

You will also find a news vidiprinter on the site. The news has kindly been supplied by Peter Brophy and MCIVTA, so if you ever want to know what Peter has wrote for us, and you missed your MCIVTA, you’ll find it “LIVE” on the site.

The site is non-commercial, it’s just a fans’ site for other City fans. I hope you find it ‘informative’.

Andi (Andrew.Frodsham@auspost.com.au)

RESULTS

Recent results from 19 – 20 August 2000 inclusive.

20 August 2000

Manchester United     2 - 0  Newcastle United

19 August 2000

Charlton Athletic     4 - 0  Manchester City
Chelsea               4 - 2  West Ham United
Coventry City         1 - 3  Middlesbrough
Derby County          2 - 2  Southampton
Leeds United          2 - 0  Everton
Leicester City        0 - 0  Aston Villa
Liverpool             1 - 0  Bradford City
Sunderland            1 - 0  Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur     3 - 1  Ipswich Town

League table to 20 August 2000 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Charlton Ath.    1  1  0  0  4  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  4  0   4   3
 2 Chelsea          1  1  0  0  4  2  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  4  2   2   3
 3 Middlesbrough    1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  3  1  1  0  0  3  1   2   3
 4 Tottenham H.     1  1  0  0  3  1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  3  1   2   3
 5 Leeds United     1  1  0  0  2  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  2  0   2   3
 6 Manchester Utd   1  1  0  0  2  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  2  0   2   3
 7 Liverpool        1  1  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  1  0   1   3
 8 Sunderland       1  1  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  1  0   1   3
 9 Derby County     1  0  1  0  2  2  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  2  2   0   1
10 Southampton      1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  2  2  0  1  0  2  2   0   1
11 Aston Villa      1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0   0   1
12 Leicester City   1  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0   0   1
13 Arsenal          1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  1  0  1  -1   0
14 Bradford City    1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  1  0  1  -1   0
15 West Ham United  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  2  4  0  0  1  2  4  -2   0
16 Coventry City    1  0  0  1  1  3  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1  3  -2   0
17 Ipswich Town     1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1  3  0  0  1  1  3  -2   0
18 Everton          1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  2  0  0  1  0  2  -2   0
19 Newcastle Utd    1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  2  0  0  1  0  2  -2   0
20 Manchester City  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  4  0  0  1  0  4  -4   0

With thanks to Football 365

WWW MANCHESTER CITY SUPPORTERS’ HOME PAGE:
http://www.uit.no/mancity/


MCIVTA ADDRESSES:
Contributions: David – me@davidbutler.free-online.co.uk
News & Rumours: Peter – brophy_peter@hotmail.com
Subscriptions: Steve – sbolton@buxtonrd.u-net.com
Technical Problems: Paul – paul@city-fan.org


DISCLAIMER
The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.


[Valid3.2]David Butler, me@davidbutler.free-online.co.uk

Newsletter #634

2000/08/21

Editor:


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